1 Tahrcountry Musings: EU Imports Threatens Widlife

Saturday, June 02, 2007

EU Imports Threatens Widlife

EU happens to be the world's biggest importer of wildlife. This has been highlighted in a report by TRAFFIC titled Opportunity or threat: The role of the European Union in the global wildlife trade.The legal trade of wildlife products into the EU was worth an estimated €93 billion in 2005. Between 2003 and 2004, EU enforcement authorities made over 7,000 seizures of shipments without legal permits, totaling over 3.5 million specimens listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).Conservationists fear that under the guise of legal imports several attempts at smuggling also happens. Conservationists are demanding that EU should provide external assistance to countries where wildlife products originate and ensure that their trade is sustainable. A carefully drafted policy can bring in benefits on sustainable basis.For example, the EU imports 95 per cent of vicuña wool, providing significant income for 700,000 people in impoverished Andean communities.

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